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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top Republicans are charting divergent paths in a post-Trump, post-siege GOP.

What's happening: Here's how they're trying to distinguish themselves in a fractious party with an evolving brand.

Josh Hawley: Young and newer to Congress. Clinging to Trumpism and populism, despite the president’s toxicity. Waging war against Big Tech and political bias on social media platforms.

Liz Cheney: Wants a return to normal. Mainstream conservative born from the Bush years. She’s advocating for small government and a strong defense system.

Ben Sasse: The sensible, hip conservative who isn’t afraid to buck leadership or anger the Trump base. Writes well.

Tom Cotton: Advocate for muscular conservatism and ruling with an iron fist. Deeply conservative and parallels to Trump, minus the president’s erratic behavior and nasty rhetoric.

Marco Rubio: Believes Republicans need to be the champions of the working class and steer away from the party's traditional embrace of big business. Strong focus on minority voters and anti-socialism. Writing more.

Rand Paul: Libertarian and chief deficit hawk. Not afraid to be on an island within his party and hold up a vote he opposes. Or two.

Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski: Centrist women and survivors not afraid to cross party lines and vote with the Democrats. Key party figures to watch as the Senate walks the tightrope of a razor-thin majority split.

Mitt Romney: Old school conservative with a strong moral compass. His warning on Russia and vote on Trump's first impeachment are aging well.

Go deeper

Conservatives warn culture, political wars will worsen

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The verdict is clear: The vast majority of Republicans will stand firm with former President Trump. The next phase is clear, too: Republicans are rallying around a common grievance that big government, big media and big business are trying to shut them up, shut them out and shut them down. 

Why it matters: The post-Trump GOP, especially its most powerful media platforms, paint the new reality as an existential threat. This means political attacks are seen — or characterized — as assaults on their very being. 

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.